Countdown in New Zealand has opened a purpose-built, permanent eStore in Wellington on Tuesday, to serve rising demand for online grocery shopping in the region.
Estores – sometimes referred to as dark stores – operate purely to fulfill online orders, not serving walk-up shoppers.
Online shopping now accounts for about 11 per cent of Countdown’s total sales and surged 74 per cent during April and June when Covid-19 movement restrictions took effect.
Sally Copland, GM brand and CountdownX, said the company rapidly scaled up its facilities to handle online orders when demand began to surge during the pandemic. An eStore was opened in the Auckland suburb of Penrose serving some 200,000 customers unable to shop during lockdown.
“While the massive demand of lockdown has thankfully subsided, more people are choosing to stay shopping online, and in Wellington demand is growing faster than anywhere else in the country, so we knew it was the next logical choice for an eStore.”
The 3500sqm Wellington eStore at Grenada North will operate 24-seven. It has a capacity to handle around 7000 online orders weekly and will employ about 100 staff. The store will serve customers from Lower Hutt, Johnsonville, Tawa, Porirua, Aotea and Kilbirnie.
“We’ve been opening up more online hubs and delivery windows in Wellington to help meet the increased demand, but the eStore is really going to allow us to serve more Wellingtonians faster, and more frequently,” said Copland.
Another eStore is planned for Moorhouse Avenue in Christchurch.
Countdown is a subsidiary of Woolworths Australia.